Duh!

Oh my gosh! So I was talking to my sister this morning and describing a situation that had happened recently where I felt really unseen in my step-momming role. It’s been so hard in so many ways! Too often when people hear the word STEPMOM (dum dum dummmmmmmm) they assume it’s some woman hiding in the shadows with no opinion or is at least so emotionally disconnected from the kids that she doesn’t participate in any of their upbringing.

That’s exactly how my stepmom was!

But that’s not at all my experience!! Partly because the kids mom is so emotionally void, and communication deficient, I came in to MAKE UP FOR HER. In so many ways it’s been extremely dis-empowering.

One day maybe I’ll write a  book about what I’ve learned. 

But for now …. what if I find other women like me and create a support group? I mean, why not? I would have benefited so much from a group of women that aren’t gathering to BASH their husbands or the ex–wife’s, but to actively work together to find solutions.

I know that for me, I have started to feel much better about myself since changing my definition of my role.

Maybe there are women out there that need this group. Woa. I’ve often wondered why I’ve gone through all of this. Maybe I can help people after all…

There has got to be women out there that are in similar situations and want to feel more empowered, more IN CONTROL of their lives.

I need a Change NOW

These past couple of weeks have proven to be some of my most difficult. Probably ever in my life. But through them, like icicles glimmering in the sunset, there are always nuggets of realizations and moments of discovery. This time is no different. I guess what gets me through the tough times is knowing without a doubt that there is SOMETHING for me to learn.

Something for me to deepen as a human.

Something that I may have missed before but that I am now ready to learn. 

 

So here goes.

The thing that has by far taken up most of my mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual energy right now is BEING A STEPMOM. I know I know I’ve written about it a lot lately. I’ve done google searches and researched books that could maybe help me feel more empowered, more at peace, more in a place of joy. And yet most of what I read is pretty depressing. I mean it’s nice to see that I’m not along, but there isn’t a lot of ACTION ITEMS to try, which is what I am truly craving.

The truth is, I haven’t liked who I am lately. I’ve felt so tired and annoyed and irritated and quite honestly stuck. It’s a horrible feeling, and because there is probably nothing I dislike more than feeling like a victim, I know there is a way out.

There is always a path to empowerment, I just need to find it. 

This weekend was another one of those hard times. I spent most of it in tears, and exhausted from attempted to guide, and teach, and ask questions, and create plans, etc. etc. etc. and I’m left buzzing around from one thing to the next completely drained and unhappy. I don’t like feeling angry. I’m so sick of being upset and near tears so much of the time. This isn’t the way I want to be, and I know that my core is not.

Things need to change and I am so so so ready for it.

One thing I have learned from past experience is that the CHANGE I’m talking about needs to come from me. It doesn’t work to be waiting around for the ex wife to change, or the kids to change or the situation to change. They all have their own agenda and course to run.

The change NEEDS to come from me. 

But what is it? Hmmm…
I know I can meditate more.
I know there are a handful of things that I probably need to let go of.
I know I can’t do everything.

But how do I make these adjustments? 

Amidst all these questions running through my brain, I got this funny little realization. Perhaps it’s the title that is screwing me up the most. Since I’ve titled myself as a MOM, and the kids STEPMOM/BONUS MOM, there is instantly this pressure to do everything I can to encourage!  To shape! To question! To inspire! To lead! To guide!

Is it the word, MOM?

Though when I say it to myself I feel full, powerful, maternal, warm, and like I have a place in this world. But what comes out is burning weights of pressure.

If the kids don’t learn their manners, it’s my fault. If the kids still don’t have goals, or interests, I didn’t do something right. If the kids are horrible at time management, I must not have carved out time to teach them. If the kids are lazy, I screwed up.

I have just realized the terrible voices that run through my mind all. day. long. No wonder I’m exhausted. No wonder I have this anger hiding inside my body. No wonder I’m feeling small and yucky and not enough.

I was realizing all of this after my husband pretty much required me to go out to the garage to meditate and paint. Both of these are things that I love and center me, but usually when the kids are here, I have a difficult time doing them.

Anyway, after a good hour of Jackie time, I realized something else. Though it’s obvious I need to make ME wayyyyyyyyyyyy more important than I have been. In fact, I need to be the first one that gets attention. I also realized that I don’t need to say the word ‘MOM’ to myself. It’s fine whatever the kids see me as, but to me,… I can be just Jackie.

If I am just Jackie, then I get the FREEDOM to show up as me. NOT as someone that needs to teach them or guide them every minute. NOT every second should be a teaching moment anyway. What if we are just a couple of souls that are hanging out in this lifetime learning from each other?

What. Woa. This just took the pressure way off.

Now, I still see myself as a MOM, but what if I am more of a universal mother, NOT NECESSARILY THEIR MOM?

I walked back into the house, and noticed right away the change in the energy. I felt a desire to chat with them and laugh and it felt easy.

I was being Jackie.

I let go of the PRESSURE to do anything else. The kids and I hung out and watched Project Runway. Ah! It felt so much easier and smooth, and we were chatting and discussing the whole time. I felt myself being interested in their observations and enjoying myself the way I am with anyone else.

I know everyone has a way that works best for them, but this might actually be mine. I’m seeing that even if I had my own kid, the pressure to BE SOMEONE’S MOM, can be overwhelming. And yet, they are on their own journey just like we are. They are here for their own reasons, and maybe I’m only here to softly guide and continue along my path side by side. I don’t know, I haven’t worked all this out yet, but it definitely feels better, and I like just being Jackie.

Live Your Truth They Always Say

I am in the middle of an interesting situation and had some thoughts about the concept of ‘living our truth.’

This is something that we always teach our children, remind our friends of when they have forgotten, and tell ourselves under our breath when life gets a little crazy,…
Live your truth. Live your truth. Live your truth. No one else is going to look out for you, so you must live your own truth.

Though I stand behind that 100%, I am suddenly in the middle of a predicament with a client. What my heart wants is now different than what she wants.

What do I do?

Do I stand up for who I know I am and the work I know I can do and say no to her?

Or…

Do I see that maybe the Universe wants me to push myself beyond my own limitations?

 

In the past, there were plenty of times that a creative situation didn’t SEEM like I would be ‘living my truth,’ so I bailed. I straight up walked away. Though I thought I was fearlessly standing up for myself in the face of possibly losing myself, what if I also didn’t give myself a chance to learn something new about life, or myself?

It just sort of struck me that if I only LIVE MY TRUTH, and only get involved in projects, people, experiences that I 100% KNOW for a fact will be amazing, how will I grow? Also when has anything, anything in life worked out completely the way we think it will?

Uh never.

Sometimes things work out better, but they are never exactly like we have them in our brain.

What is comfortable for me, may not be the best way for me to always grow. I want to learn more about myself, always, I truly do. So this realization that only moving forward when I can see the WHOLE path and it resonates with me FULLY AND COMPLETELY, doesn’t actually make so much sense.

So I am keeping my heart open. I realize I might have accidentally stepped into some uncharted (and currently undesired) territory, but I’m going to trust that it’s here to teach me something.  Maybe it’s to not try and have all the answers all the time, or let go of control, or play my way through it, or trust intuition. Lets be honest there are any number of LESSONS I could have lined up to learn. But for me, the important thing is to always be learning. Even if I hate this new situation. At least I said yes and put myself out there, and finished what I started.

What are your thoughts on sticking to your TRUTH versus allowing the Universe to sometimes guide? Do you go for that? Or does that feel like giving in?

Also, for me I am realizing that it’s not about the answer that I decide to give, yes or no, to this project. It’s only about the intention. I could say YES and then hold a grudge and feel totally put upon. Or, I could feel my anger and sadness, release them, and then say YES because I am ready for a new unexpected experience. In both instances I SAID YES but the last one is way more empowered. I know that when I have felt my feelings fully, I can move forward with a clear head.  I am going to take my time working through all these feelings so my answer can come from a strong, powerful, authentic place.

 

 

Creating For Me

Hello! Happy Monday! The sun is out and it’s going to be another hot day here in San Diego.

I know I wrote a blog about a creative women’s group I wanted to start someday.  I remember writing it, and then being even more inspired from what I wrote.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago, right before I left on vacation….

I was telling one of my girlfriends the concept for the group. ‘Wouldn’t it be great to get a group of creative women together that all have these ideas that they want to do. We can talk out loud about them and THEN hold each other accountable for everything we say we want to do!’

Anyone that knows this particular friend, knows that her response to ANY new idea is always, ‘Oh my gosh you should TOTALLY do it!’ That’s exactly what she said, and this time I was ready.

In 10 minutes I had created a Facebook event and we were planning on our first meeting. It’s funny, even a year ago I would have been plagued with ‘oh my gosh I can’t facilitate this sort of thing, I don’t know what I am doing,’ or ,’ I need more time to RESEARCH what I want to say and do,’ or ‘I’m too busy,’ or ‘I’m not the right person for the job,’ etc. etc. etc. I would have been freaking out. But now, for some odd reason, I wasn’t. It felt organic, and just like the next step. It was almost shocking how NOT scared I was. I felt empowered and full.

The meeting was a complete success! It was full of magic and laughter and these super awesome, weirdly synchronized events with wildly magnetic, bursting, creative women. The whole time I felt strong and powerful and as if I was completely in the right place at the right time.

It’s pretty interesting to feel worlds different than I would have even a couple of months ago. Why?

Here’s what I think:
I needed this group FOR ME.

I didn’t set out to:
INSPIRE OTHERS.
Or TEACH THEM SOMETHING.
Or CHANGE THEM.

This was purely for me. I was in a place of realizing that I need ACCOUNTABILITY and I DESIRE being around creative, compassionate, warm, open women. But I created this group for me, and that took all the pressure off. If other people end up getting what they need along the way, that’s great, but it’s not the reason I am doing it.

HA! I can see how I can apply this concept to all areas of my life. It’s not my JOB to teach people or get them into places I want them to be or I think they should be. It IS my job however, to live authentically and create what I WANT AND NEED FOR ME. What what a relief! I don’t need to save the world after all. Ha!

Rise Up

I had an interesting experience on Friday morning. I was invited to a women’s circle, and I said yes. I love women’s circles!
It’s a chance to come together as women to share!
To feel!
To connect!
Ah! It can be so so enriching and validating.

Anyway, I was really looking forward to it. I’m such in a place of wanting to expand my friendship base to more heart centered people that are doing work on themselves, and are willing to be open and vulnerable.

We sat in a circle and all introduced ourselves. There were some that had been coming for a long time, and a couple of us were brand new. I suddenly realized that not only was I surrounded with like-minded, open, vulnerable women BUT they were all extremely successful, magnetic, and powerful creators as well. Suddenly I felt a bit intimidated and when it was my time to speak, completely forgot what to say. I totally forgot to say anything about me being AN ARTIST or anything that I want to do or create. It was like I was just milling around aimlessly. I think in hindsight, I just felt like I wasn’t enough.

As I was driving home I kept replaying what happened in my head. ‘Ahahlsdkf! Why wasn’t I more confident? Why couldn’t I think of what to say? Why did I leave everything personal out of what I was saying?’

Then my self talk got even worse. (sad face)

‘Maybe I shouldn’t be a part of this group, these women have it all together. They probably think I’m just this ridiculous foolish girl. I feel dumb and not good enough. I’m sure everything I say probably sounds so stupid to them.’

I’ve heard those words before. They were reminding me of some horrible old beliefs that I thought I’d already squashed. As I started to slip down that yucky path,  something stopped me.

Then suddenly, I noticed another voice. This one was hidden behind the pushy loud one. It was patient and soft, but still steady. It said, ‘What if you were invited to this circle for a reason. You’ve been saying that you want more depth, more vulnerability. Maybe this is exactly where you need to be to learn to show up fully as yourself and keep your heart open to learning even more. It doesn’t matter how much they have accomplished, these women are so open to having you here as well. They have plenty to teach you, but you have plenty to teach them as well.’

I sat there for a moment, in traffic, and took a deep breath. This is where I got to choose which voice to listen to. The second one sounded strong and powerful, I’d definitely PREFER to listen to that one.

It’s so funny how easy it is sometimes to ASSUME that we aren’t good enough for some things, that we aren’t ready. We can ASSUME the other people have more of the answers than we do, or they are just plain smarter or prettier or better than us, and that because of that, we don’t DESERVE to be there. That our presence won’t influence the group at all, that our existence isn’t going to spark anyone, or touch anyone, or mean anything. But I’m not going to let those feelings stop me this time. It’s okay for me to feel my insecurities. I can feel them with compassion and let them go.

And then I can rise to the occasion.

 

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